Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Dresses for the Well-Endowed

Dear Belle,

You’ve showed some lovely dresses lately, but I can’t where any of them. Why? I’m a 38D and high neck dresses don’t flatter me at all.  Can you show some dresses that don’t have high necks and aren’t strapless?  I would really, really appreciate it!



BB Dakota Audry Dress ($78)

What I like about this dress from BB Dakota is that it successfully mixes a handful of different trends.  You get a bold color, a flared skirt and an angular-cut racerback.  BB Dakota also sells this minty-dotted dress with an open back, which is lovely.

Well-endowed but need a backless/strapless bra?  Fashion Forms makes one that goes up to DD.  A friend also wore the Faveo D+ Perk-ups at her wedding and loved them.

I found several pretty v-neck dresses, including this black and white polka dot number from Taylor.  For cocktail, I found this gorgeous flirty, white dress and this grey lace dress.  For casual Friday, I found this short sleeve jersey dress with a defined waist and an a-line skirt.

Prefer a scoopneck?  I found this white basket-weave dress for dinners out or cocktail events.  For casual time, I found this fun Banana Republic dress, and this Rachel Roy dress could be worn casually or to the office, if you accessorize it properly.

Struggling to dress a busty figure for the office?  Corporette has one of the best guides I’ve seen, and if you have advice to contribute, please leave it in the comments.



  1. JJ says:

    That Taylor dress is adorable! My question: does it have too much white to wear at a wedding?

    June 5, 2013/Reply
    • EM says:

      Belle did a post on that last week! 🙂

      June 5, 2013/Reply
      • JJ says:

        That’s why I asked…this dress has more white than her examples. Anybody want to weigh in if it’s a yes or no?

        June 5, 2013/Reply
    • Anne says:

      It looks fine, to my eye, because there’s no part of the dress that’s pure white. And in the small thumbnails, from far off when you can’t see detail, the dots blend together into gray, not white.

      June 5, 2013/Reply
  2. Chelsea says:

    Ugh. I get so irritated when people suggest bras/swimsuits for “well endowed ladies” that only go through DD! That’s NOTHING! Those of us in the E, F, FF, G, etc club are the ones who struggle. Girls with DDs are practically normal! (Or need to get re-fitted, Victoria’s Secret is criminal in what they put people in)

    June 5, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’m a 32C, 36DD sounds big to me in comparison. Plus, a lot of my friends who refer to themselves as busty are large Cs or small Ds. So it’s all about perspective. And since it appears the average is 36C, up from 34B, I’m not sure you can say DD is normal.

      June 5, 2013/Reply
      • Leah says:

        You are literally the first person to show me a strapless/backless bra that goes over DD, so no hate here!

        I know you probably aren’t the right person to ask Belle, but has anyone here used the Faveo D+ Perk-ups? Ideally someone in the 32-34 DD-F range?

        June 5, 2013/Reply
      • Mara says:

        Those busty girls are probably not Cs or Ds. DD is actually not very big. Check out for some good fitting advice. This too:

        June 5, 2013/Reply
      • Katy says:

        I agree with Mara: truly “busty” girls are probably not C’s and D’s. I wear a 32DDD and am generally a size 6 (and yes, I’ve been fitted at Intimacy). Everyone I tell is “shocked” that I wear a bra size “that big.” Heaven forbid I tell them I was a 34G when I was 15 lbs heavier…

        June 6, 2013/Reply
      • Chelsea says:

        I guess it’s more that it is relatively easy to find bras/swimsuits through DD, so it shouldn’t be so revolutionary to say that some brand offers them.

        June 11, 2013/Reply
  3. Margaret says:

    I agree Belle has been great with her picks on dresses. What are some ideas for people (like me) who still has a postpartum belly fat? Some dresses cling so close I look pregnant and the style that has the elastic in the middle emphasizes my short torso and it doesn’t look good on me either.

    June 5, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Look at the short sleeve jersey dress above that I mentioned for casual Friday. Something that has a banded waist and a swishy skirt like that could work. And I know it’s counterintuitive, but try draping or a peplum.

      June 5, 2013/Reply
      • Margaret says:


        June 6, 2013/Reply
  4. Julie says:

    That BB Dakota dress is just adorable! I love the fit and flare look. I’m not particularly busty (ahem), but I definitely still like it!

    Style by Joules

    June 5, 2013/Reply
  5. k-t says:

    Chelsea and K,

    As a 32G, I can relate. It is difficult to find dresses and tops that are not high necked nor too low cut. Wrap dresses–often touted as the solution for big busts and post-partum mom bellies–always require a cami, which isn’t always the best look.

    I’ve had good luck with Boden dresses, sometimes with Gap and Banana Republic.

    I have a great strapless bra, and a long-line strapless torture device, but they are not all that comfortable and are for very special occasions only. That means no spaghetti straps, no strapless, and I have to be careful with the cut-away shoulders, as they may or may not work with criss-cross straps.

    IMHO, sometimes a longer necklace can elongate the neck and make a crew-neck work with a larger bust.

    June 5, 2013/Reply
  6. Melinda says:

    I was a 32E prior to giving birth to twins. I went as high as a 32J and now I’m a 32H. Intimacy – which Belle has suggested before I believe – is a GREAT store that caters to the well-well-well endowed 😉 I would imagine they could suggest other similar boutiques that cater to us.

    June 5, 2013/Reply
  7. Anon says:

    I think I’m just old but I don’t think I can do a dress like that BB Dakota one. The waist is up too high and then it’s so short. It looks like a little girl dress to me. But I love that grey lace dress– too bad there’s only one size left and it’s not mine because I NEED a dress to wear to a wedding.

    June 5, 2013/Reply
    • BBB says:

      Funny you should say that. I’m finding A LOT of summer dresses this season are cut with a higher waist line (although not necessarily an intended empire waist), making the skirt short. Couple that with the flare skirt style that’s in right now… and I end up looking just like a little girl! And I’m not grabbing these form the juniors section, either. Not sure what’s up with this trend. I’m enjoying the fit & flare, but find myself buying more skirt/top combos that suit the style and dresses, just because of the weird cut.

      June 6, 2013/Reply
      • BBB says:

        *THAN dresses

        June 6, 2013/Reply
  8. Val says:

    I bought two sheath dresses at the Banana Republic sale in May (the ponte knit square neck), and have worn both to work a lot since. The fabric is just thick enough that it doesn’t cling in inappropriate places, especially around the bust (I’m 36D), and the neckline hits at the collarbone.

    I usually look for two things in work-appropriate dresses: good fabric that doesn’t cling, and a high enough neckline. This means some beautiful styles are work inappropriate (sorry DVF wrap dresses, I love you but can’t really fit a camisole underneath), but others have been fine.

    June 6, 2013/Reply
    • Anon says:

      I put a camisole under DVF wrap dresses (and wear it that way to work). You have to– otherwise I would have an entire boob hanging out.

      June 6, 2013/Reply
      • Val says:

        @Anon- do you have a particular brand of camisole you like? I’ve tried different ones under my wrap dress and they’ve made them too bulky to wear…maybe I’m just not picking the right fabric.

        June 6, 2013/Reply
  9. Small(butbusty)Fry says:

    For busty girls who need a laugh:

    June 6, 2013/Reply